Sunday Snippet, 9.25.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance collection, Tales from Blackthorn Briar, a sequel to Oak King Holly King featuring hurt/comfort and many happily-ever-afters – available wherever fine books are found!

~

A gentleman stood at the bottom of the stair.

Not, Ephraim realised with a sinking heart, Lofthouse or Felix. The gentleman stood far too tall to pass for either—more in line with Tolhurst or Butcher. As he turned his face upward to meet Ephraim’s stare, he revealed a face which couldn’t have seen many days beyond thirty years. And a handsome face, at that. One that bore a sun-kissed brow, dark yet twinkling eyes, a long nose with a noble arch, a jaw strong enough to attract notice even beneath the close-trimmed black beard, and full lips beneath the moustache that wore a smile like sunshine breaking through storm-clouds.

Ephraim’s pulse gave an uncomfortable flutter, as it sometimes did when he arose too quickly from his desk.

“Good morrow, sir!” said the gentleman in a hearty tone. Ephraim couldn’t quite place his accent—a very slight one, with a touch of a burr and a hint of a lilt which defied all efforts to pin it down. The deep bass of his voice thrummed through Ephraim’s own ribs in a manner which made his knees feel weak for reasons beyond rheumatism.

Ephraim put these feelings away into a little locked drawer in his mind, as he always did, and cleared his throat.

~

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Tales from Blackthorn Briar – OUT NOW!

Tales from Blackthorn Briar comes out today – which means you can celebrate Mabon with Shrike and Wren!

Shrike, the fae Butcher of Blackthorn, and Wren Lofthouse, a mortal Victorian clerk, are bound together by love and fate. Their continued adventures (and those of their friends) are told in this collection of fantastical tales following the story of Oak King Holly King, including…

Mabon
• Wherein Shrike and Wren repay their debt to the Court of Hidden Folk.

Mr Grigsby’s Clerk
• Wherein Mr Grigsby finds a replacement for Wren – and perhaps more than he bargained for.

Jack in the Green
• Wherein a certain Horse Guard wanders into Blackthorn Briar.

Winter Solstice
• Wherein the Holly King surrenders to the Oak King.

The Holly King’s Peril
• Wherein Wren and Shrike discover danger in the wilds of the Fae Realms.

The Ballad of Daniel Durst
• Wherein Daniel embarks on his authentic life in a bold new land.

Discover it now wherever fine books are found!

~

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Tales from Blackthorn Briar – Cover Reveal and Exclusive Excerpt!

Tales from Blackthorn Briar, the long-awaited sequel to Oak King Holly King, comes out Sept. 21st – which means you can celebrate Mabon with Shrike and Wren!

Shrike, the fae Butcher of Blackthorn, and Wren Lofthouse, a mortal Victorian clerk, are bound together by love and fate. Their continued adventures (and those of their friends) are told in this collection of fantastical tales following the story of Oak King Holly King, including…

Mabon
• Wherein Shrike and Wren repay their debt to the Court of Hidden Folk.

Mr Grigsby’s Clerk
• Wherein Mr Grigsby finds a replacement for Wren – and perhaps more than he bargained for.

Jack in the Green
• Wherein a certain Horse Guard wanders into Blackthorn Briar.

Winter Solstice
• Wherein the Holly King surrenders to the Oak King.

The Holly King’s Peril
• Wherein Wren and Shrike discover danger in the wilds of the Fae Realms.

The Ballad of Daniel Durst
• Wherein Daniel embarks on his authentic life in a bold new land.

Thistle Arts Studio and Sleepy Fox Studio have crafted another beautiful cover for this collection. Read on to see it for yourself and enjoy an exclusive excerpt from Mabon!

Continue reading “Tales from Blackthorn Briar – Cover Reveal and Exclusive Excerpt!”

Sunday Snippet, 9.18.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance collection, Tales from Blackthorn Briar, a sequel to Oak King Holly King featuring hurt/comfort and many happily-ever-afters – coming out Sept. 21st and available for preorder wherever fine books are found!

~


“Are you all right, sir?” asked Mr Hull.

Ephraim didn’t quite know how to answer him. In an abstracted sort of way, he quite liked to be held so gently in the brawny arms of his very handsome clerk. On the other hand, he was not quite so old yet as to feel totally bereft of dignity, and dignity demanded he put a stop to this sort of nonsense.

~

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Sunday Snippet, 9.11.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian cross-class romance, Mr Warren’s Profession, featuring hurt/comfort and a happily-ever-after – available now wherever fine books are found!

~

By slow increments, Aubrey repositioned himself half on his side, half on Lindsey. A contented hum issued from Lindsey’s lips. Then his eyes opened. His sleepy smile remained for an instant before his brow knitted in concern.

“You all right?”

Aubrey hurried to rearrange his own discomfited expression the moment Lindsey opened his eyes, but it seemed he hadn’t been quick enough. He plastered an easy grin over his anxieties and affected an airy tone. “Of course.”

Lindsey didn’t appear convinced. His mouth opened. Aubrey, dreading further questions, put a stop to it with a kiss.

Thus distracted, Lindsey gave up his inquiries. He pulled away to nuzzle at Aubrey’s jaw and on down his throat. Aubrey allowed himself to relax a fraction under the quiet, undemanding affection.

The downy duvet drew up over his shoulders. Another kiss, this time to his collarbone, then Lindsey’s forehead came to rest upon it and seemed content to stay there. Aubrey let his own hand rise to comb through Lindsey’s well-tousled curls, untangling and twining them through his fingers.

He could get used to this, he thought drowsily.

He wouldn’t, of course. Only a fool would dare to.

But he could.

~

Mr Warren’s Profession is a gay Victorian cross-class romance, available now wherever fine books are found!

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Sunday Snippet, 9.4.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance, Oak King Holly King – available now wherever fine books are found!

~

Wren took advantage of their absence to collapse into his desk chair.

Shrike strode toward him, hand outstretched.

Wren stayed him with a glance—half warning, half desperation—and Shrike settled his hand on the back of Wren’s chair rather than on his shoulder, where his warmth might have suffused and soothed Wren’s aching muscles.

“You should go,” Wren forced himself to say. “While they’re distracted. Before they start asking questions.”

Shrike gazed down at him a moment longer with an expression no less handsome for its mournful cast. Still, he nodded his assent and turned to go.

“Wait,” Wren blurted, his exhausted mind belatedly recalling what he’d nearly forgotten.

Shrike halted, looking somewhere between confused and concerned.

But before he could enquire, Wren had already dived into his satchel and fished out the laudanum.

“It’s for easing pain,” Wren explained as Shrike studied the bottle. “Just a drop or two mixed into drink. Any more and it becomes deadly poison.”

“Such is the way of all medicine,” Shrike murmured.

Wren held it out to him. Shrike took it. His fingertips brushed Wren’s knuckles. The touch sent a shiver across Wren’s skin. He wanted nothing more than to reach for Shrike, to seize his cloak and drag him down into an embrace, throw his arms about his shoulders and collapse into him.

Instead, Wren dropped his hand to the arm of his chair and clenched it hard.

Shrike’s eyes followed the gesture. He tucked the laudanum into the folds of his cloak and said, “Whenever you can get away…”

“I will run to you,” Wren finished for him.

~

Oak King Holly King is a gay Victorian fae romance, available now wherever fine books are found!

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Sunday Snippet, 8.28.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian cross-class romance, Mr Warren’s Profession, featuring hurt/comfort and a happily-ever-after – available now wherever fine books are found!

~

Lindsey led the way to a grand hall with a high, vaulted ceiling. Originally built for indoor perambulation, thick curtains now covered its wall of impossibly tall windows. Every remaining inch of wall from floor to ceiling displayed framed portraits of blond, blue-eyed, aquiline-featured people. Several could’ve passed for Lindsey’s doubles, costumes aside. These, then, were Lindsey’s ancestors, stretching back through the centuries to William the Conqueror. Possibly beyond.

The entire Althorp clan stared Aubrey down. Aubrey, alone, with no gallery of compact, bow-lipped, large-eyed individuals behind him. Not a single living soul who bore any resemblance. No memory of a face like his looking into his own.

Despite his best efforts, he felt a bit small.

~

Mr Warren’s Profession is a gay Victorian cross-class romance, available now wherever fine books are found!

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Sunday Snippet, 8.21.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance, Oak King Holly King – available now wherever fine books are found!

~

“Then, if none but friends may enter Blackthorn, why did you draw your sword when you found someone already in the cottage?”

To Wren’s surprise, Shrike appeared chastened by the question. He glanced away and hesitated, the silence broken only by the slight clink of his sword in its scabbard as his fingers played upon the pommel. When he met Wren’s gaze again, the fathomless depths of his dark eyes shone soft with reverence. In a much-abashed tone, he replied, “I have far more to lose now than ever I had before.”

To be wanted was one thing. To be cherished and defended was another. To be loved… Wren dared not think so far as that. But nevertheless his heart sang with the knowledge that Shrike considered him worthy of protection, and that the loss of Wren would pain Shrike as much as the loss of Shrike would pain Wren.

No words seemed sufficient to express even a fraction of what Wren felt. As such, he abandoned language entirely. Instead he reached out his hand to Shrike’s scarred cheek, turning his face so he might capture his mouth in a kiss.

~

Oak King Holly King is a gay Victorian fae romance, available now wherever fine books are found!

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Sunday Snippet, 8.14.22

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance, Oak King Holly King – available now wherever fine books are found!

~

The sheer strength of Shrike’s frame proved itself through his strapping shoulders and sinewy arms. To Wren, he appeared all the more breath-taking when he bent over work so fine and delicate as plying the merest sliver of a blade to the thin sheet of pale white hart’s hide and slicing the leather into lace. Rough yet gentle hands, whose touch could make Wren tremble, now split a slender piece of wire in twain—a boar bristle, Shrike explained when he caught Wren’s curious gaze—and wound with catgut for needle and thread to piece together a patchwork harlequin who would’ve been the envy of all in Venice’s Carnivale. Wren felt his pencil scribblings hardly did justice to the man he knew and loved. Still, as the house passed in comfortable silence, he filled his sketch-book’s pages with his attempts to capture the knife’s-edge balance between brutish brawn and elfin grace.

~

Oak King Holly King is a gay Victorian fae romance, available now wherever fine books are found!

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Boston Public Library – now featuring Sebastian Nothwell!

All my books are now available at the Boston Public Library!

I cannot even begin to describe my elation. Getting my books into libraries has been a dream ever since I started writing. Libraries are a fantastic public resource (not just for books!) and a vital part of their communities. For my books to form even just a small part of that thrills me to my core.

And hey, did you know? If you have a Massachusetts zip code, you can get a digital Boston Public Library card and gain instant access to their entire digital collection! Check it out on the Libby app (another fave)!